In July of 1889, John A. Belt, a leading merchant in Gaithersburg, purchased the southwest corner of Diamond and Summit Avenues for $200. On this site, Belt built a general store with a large upstairs public room, known as Norman Hall. The building soon became a pivotal structure in Gaithersburg's social, cultural and governmental activities. Norman Hall began its first functions as Post Office, Town Hall, and Polling Place. It was not long before it became the social and cultural center of Gaithersburg as well as housing the town's first library. The Belt Building's Norman Hall became the preferred location of theater, lectures, recitals, musical presentations, and high school graduations. At the turn of the century, the original building was tragically destroyed by fire. It was soon replaced with the present brick structure, constructed in 1903. The Belt Building has been home to many businesses, including W. Lawson King's Auto Showroom, George Woodfield's Maytag Service, Walker's Grocery, Frank Ciarrachi's Restaurant, Clark's Photography, MacMurray's Floral Arts, Armand's Pizzeria, and most recently, Old Town Tavern and Summit Station.
(Photo caption): The Belt Building